Kaduna residents have expressed worries and disappointment over the scarcity of new naira notes, with many saying the public ought to be familiar with the new currency to guide against fake notes as they entered into the New Year.
Saga Gist recalls that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, introduced the redesigned banknotes on December 15, 2022, as part of measures to control inflation, mop up currency outside the banking system, fight corruption and discourage payment of huge cash to kidnappers and bandits among others.
However, 17 days after the release of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1, 000 banknotes by the CBN, majority of Nigerians, especially those in remote villages are yet to see the new notes let alone transact business with them.
Gladys Musa, a trader and mother of two, said her expectation was that once she gets to the bank’s Automated Teller Machine, ATM, to withdraw, the new naira notes will appear. To her dismay, what came out of the machine was the old currency.
Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf, a businessman and managing director of Yusuf Ventures Ltd also expressed disappointment at the development.
“I expect the new currency to be available in bulk so that we introduce them to our customers,” he said, noting that due to the unavailability of the new currency, customers are even afraid of transacting business for fear of being given old notes which will soon be obsolete.
Similarly, Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed, a politician and PDP chieftain in Kagarko LGA, also expressed worries over the scarcity of the new naira notes a few weeks before the presidential elections.
According to him, if the scarcity persists, it would affect several politicians as there would be no money to move around and solve all other sundry expenses.
He further claimed that people living in some remote villages across the state have started rejecting old currencies, adding that it is imperative to educate those in interior villages to avoid further embarrassment.